Press Release: New Interfaith Power & Light chairman brings civil rights legacy and passion to climate movement

Sep 4, 2018 | In the News, Press Releases, What's New

NEWS  RELEASE                                                                 Contact: Susan Stephenson    

September 4, 2018                                                                    (510) 444-4891


New Interfaith Power & Light chairman brings civil rights legacy and passion to climate movement

Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, civil rights leader who worked with Martin Luther King, Jr., is named chair of nation’s largest faith-based climate organization

SAN FRANCISCO — Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) announced that Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, pastor emeritus of Providence Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, and civil rights leader, will serve as its next board chair.

“After having worked for civil rights for people of color for decades, I became aware that the biggest threat to us today is global warming and environmental devastation,” Rev. Durley said. “There are no civil rights on a dead planet,” he continued.

As an IPL board member for six years, Rev. Durley has become a well-known and sought-after speaker on the connection between social justice movements and global warming. He is passionate about engaging more people of all faiths in the climate movement. “I believe we must continue to grow this vital organization and its critical mission to mobilize a religious response to global warming and to protect God’s Creation,” said Rev. Durley.

“I also believe the environmental movement needs to be bigger and broader, and to reach more communities of color. It’s people of color who tend to be on the front lines of climate change impacts, and who bear the brunt of fossil fuel pollution. Our houses of worship are the natural place to talk with people about this. We need people of faith to understand this issue and to advocate for equitable solutions—such as a rapid transition to renewable energy and more access to clean energy jobs” Rev. Durley continued.

IPL has an unparalleled track record of educating millions of “people in the pews” about the call to care for Creation and mobilizing them to action, achieving clean energy policy wins from the local to international level. Mobilizing people of faith to be advocates for climate protection is more important than ever, as the Trump administration continues its reckless attempts to roll back urgently needed climate policies.

“Rev. Durley has a long history of advocating for justice, and we are honored to have him serve as our board chair. His deeply-held conviction that climate change is a moral issue, and his willingness to connect with people of faith about how caring for our neighbors is intimately connected to how we care for Creation, makes him a champion in working for the lasting changes that we so desperately need,” said IPL President Rev. Susan Hendershot.


Interfaith Power & Light is mobilizing a religious response to global warming in congregations through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.


To set up an interview with Rev. Durley, please contact Susan Stephenson at susan@interfaithpowerandlight.org or call (510) 444-4891. Rev. Durley will be in San Francisco September 12-14 for events around the Global Climate Action Summit.

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